El Paso Times article April 11, 2008
The Language Dance
Students Develop English Skills in P.E.
Physical education has become more than just a lap around the blacktop for Jesus Lopez. The 6-year-old at Alamo Elementary School is one of thousands of El Paso Independent School District students who participate in "Singlish."
Singlish, a program that helps develop language skills in children by singing classic and contemporary songs, is required at all 56 EPISD elementary schools.
"I like to dance and sing," Lopez said. "I don't get tired. I want to be an artist." Lopez, a primarily Spanish speaker, can perform the lyrics to each English song at any given time. EPISD implemented the curriculum in August, after the district received a two-year grant through Title V funds for innovative programs. Schools received two portable stereos, a compact disc and a cassette of the first two volumes of the music, laminated posters and a teacher's manual.
Bill Anderson, who coordinates health and physical education programs for the district, said Singlish was originally considered as a substitute during inclement weather, but then became an important routine. "It is geared toward early language development and at the same time it gives students a cardiovascular workout," Anderson said. "It's a perfect way to put core curriculum into physical education." While each campus is expected to use the program at least once a month, some schools have chosen to use it regularly.
Songs like "Going Over the Sea" and "Dem Bones" help students in kindergarten through fifth grade perfect English skills and learn numbers, history and the human body.
Mark Mena, who coaches at Alamo Elementary School, said his students are learning new things every day. "Our students are fluent in Spanish but when we play the music the English comes out," Mena said. "Kids who normally have reservations about speaking English forget all about them when we do this."
Alondra Sauza, 6, said she has taught her parents the lyrics to her favorite songs. "I sing at home. I even sing in the shower."
Other districts have also implemented the plan.
Here's what more teachers have to say:
...Your recorded music has been done very well. Often times musicians do not record slowly enough for young children to successfully process the tunes and words. The posters add reading to the mix and also add appeal for the child.
Sincerely, Nancy T. Sager,
Montessori School Principal
Solano Beach, California
... I find SINGlish to be a valuable tool for English acquisition. Through movement (TPR) and singing my students have discovered that learning English can be fun.
When we sing
it adds zing
a new thing!
We found the program extremely helpful. The pacing of the songs is appropriate for young children. The posters provided colorful visuals.
All of the children become completely involved no matter what their academic level. Also, the length of the songs is great! The words are extremely easy to learn due to the repetitive fashion in which they are written - especially for English language learners.
I strongly recommend this program.
First Grade Teacher
SINGlish is a terrific teaching resource because it is effortless to implement and it's fun!
The kids enjoy learning the songs and doing the movements. The colorful visuals really hold their attention. The teachers appreciate that the songs are set in slower tempos so that the children are able to sing along. The instrumental-only recordings allow them to be more creative.
We purchased 23 sets for all of our early primary classes because it is so affordable. Since the posters are laminated we will be enjoying this "sound investment" for many years to come.
Categorical Program Advisor
..SINGlish is a wonderful program enjoyed by all age groups of children. Their attention span was high, most interested and involved. The children loved it. This is an amazing product, which feeds the interests of the children and makes them learn in the process. The only problem was stopping the activity without upsetting the children too much since they were demanding to continue.
I will not hesitate to recommend SINGlish to anybody. This is one purchase that I am satisfied, happy and excited using every day.
Sincerely, Molini A. Wiratunga,
Family Child Care Director
I just love SINGlish and my kids love it too! I think that all teachers should have SINGlish available to them - especially classroom teachers that don't believe that they can teach music. Let me know when the new volumes come out. I can hardly wait !
I have been a special education teacher for 15 years. I teach children 3-5 years old with autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. I recently purchased the SINGlish program for my class. Some children who often do not participate were dancing, singing and moving to the music. SINGlish became a part of our daily routine. The music is highly motivating and professionally produced. The colorful laminated sheets make it easy to follow along. I would highly recommend SINGlish to all special education teachers who want to see happy enthusiastic students.
Special Education Teacher
Our school has been using Singlish in its primary grades to supplement out current ESL program. Our teachers like Singlish because it is so simple to use and requires no preparation time. They simply pull out the song charts and play the CD.
…I started using Singlish in my classroom for first graders. They loved it! They ask to hear the songs over and over again. This year I am teaching the pre-Kindergarten class at my school and find myself using Singlish even more. For both my limited English speakers and my native English speakers, Singlish is a hit. They love the songs and the movements. They love to hold and look at the laminated posters.
I recommend Singlish highly.
Lucy Papu, Pre-K teacher
We have used Singlish as our afternoon activity every day this week. I must have fifty cassette tapes and CD's filled with music, but none of them compare to the comprehensive kit. I will be showing this to all the teachers I work with!
1st Grade Teacher
My wonderful principal heard about your product and ordered 2 volumes for my Kindergarten class. I have enjoyed using them. The students learn the songs very quickly and love looking at the posters. It is a great tool to learn new songs. Thanks for making my job a lot easier and more fun!
…For the equivalent price of a couple of textbooks, a classroom will have Singlish for many years.
Although originally intended for children, Singlish came highly recommended for low and beginning adults, especially those who are tired when they arrive at evening classes.
Marilyn McLaughlin, “Discussion of the Experts: Tried and True Materials for the Adult ESL Classroom – Music as a Teaching Tool”
ESOL in Adult Education E-Newsletter, March 2009.
I use “Singlish” whenever my students need a change… or when the school program suggests the use of songs and poems.
Kindergarten / ESL teacher
I am a general music teacher with Grades K – 3rd.
…I love the first four sets and have used many songs in programs as well as the classroom. I love these sets because they truly set Total Physical Response activities into motion. I was a second grade ESL teacher (working with Navajo and Spanish speaking students) for 16 years. Every music room in America should have the Singlish materials as an additional resource.
I have been using your program for years now - it works like no other! Love it!